A Forgotten Source in the History of Linguistics: Husserl's Logical Investigations

Bulletin d'Analyse Phénoménologique 11 (2015)
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In appearance, Husserl’s writings seem not to have had any influence on linguistic research, nor does what the German philosopher wrote about language seem to be worth a place in the history of linguistics. The purpose of the paper is exactly to contrast this view, by reassessing both the position and the role of Husserl’s early masterpiece — the Logical Investigations — within the history of linguistics. To this end, I will focus mainly on the third (On the theory of wholes and parts) and fourth (The distinction between independent and non-independent meanings) Investigations, paying special attention to Husserl’s mereology and to the idea of a general pure grammar. The paper tries to situate the third and fourth Logical Investigation within the general context of late nineteenth-century and early twentieth-century linguistics and furthermore attempts to show the historical and theoretical importance of the Logical Investigations for the birth and the development of one of the most important linguistic “schools” of the twentieth century, namely structural linguistics.

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Simone Aurora
University of Padua


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